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White House Extends Employer Mandate Deadline

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 3, 2013

Haile, in an email exchange with HealthLeaders Media, identified several potential effects of the implementation delay for employers:

  • Fewer employers may cut employee hours in 2014. This one-year respite may make employers (e.g., restaurant and retail establishments) less likely to reduce employee hours below 30 hours per week.
  • Many families with children will have an unexpected benefit. For employers who offer employee but not dependent coverage, this one-year delay may also cause employers to postpone any offer of coverage to dependents. Interestingly, this may have a positive effect on such families for two reasons. First, children without an offer of employer-sponsored coverage may be eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program if they meet the state-specific income and other eligibility requirements. Second, children without an offer of employer coverage may be eligible for the new premium assistance tax credits in 2014 even if their incomes are above the state-specific CHIP limit. Indeed, employers may be more likely to cooperate with enrollment efforts to get uninsured employees and their uninsured dependents covered under various ACA programs because they know with certainty that they will not face a penalty in 2014.
  • States may face less pressure from business interests to expand Medicaid. Jackson Hewitt had released a report earlier this year estimating that American employers would incur $876 million to $1.3 billion in penalties in 22 states that were refusing to expand their Medicaid programs as contemplated under the ACA. Today's decision effectively removes that penalty liability for 2014. However, employers will continue to face such penalties in 2015 and thereafter in states that do not expand their Medicaid programs.
  • The Treasury action today addresses anxiety among employers about the lack of final regulations from the IRS. While many employers with large part-time and seasonal employees embraced the flexibility afforded to them by the IRS' proposed approach, they voiced increasingly loud concerns that the IRS had yet to finalize this approach in a final rule. Indeed, the IRS has not publicly pledged to finalize these proposed rules before the major provisions of the ACA take effect in 2014. In an unexpected development late Tuesday, though, the Treasury Department effectively moots this issue for 2014.

Formal guidance from the White House is expected within the next week.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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2 comments on "White House Extends Employer Mandate Deadline"


John Jaffe MD (7/9/2013 at 5:52 PM)
Looks like the Administration is finally coming to terms with what a disaster Obamacare is and how much opposition there is to its implementation[INVALID]for very good reasons. Also the ever-expanding list of scandals oozing out of this White House, from Benghazi to IRS to AP phone monitoring, is further weakening an Administration already foundering in public opinion, thereby reducing any "moral suasion" that a President might otherwise have in trying to introduce unpopular mandates. The best that 1 can hope for with this ill-conceived monstrosity of a law that few understand and even fewer who understand it support, is that it will die a natural death and be replaced by a more limited and practicable healthcare reform alternative.

Robanai Disque (7/8/2013 at 8:56 PM)
This article just made me shake my head side to side thinking really. I don't know where the author of this article resides but where I do most people working for between $8.00-$15.00 an hour are only putting in 30 or below hours a week and are considered occasional part time but are expected to work as many hours as the boss says and when they get to a certain point were their accumulative hours in a years time starts getting close to a full time position they lay the person off so they don't have to pay benefits and they are treated like slaves. We wonder why the present young generation has no work ethic because we don't treat any of the present workers with respect. And while there is this delay who do you think is paying for those uninsured-those of us who are lucky enough to work 40 hours a week and have insurance. Our taxes pay for that and a good share of us have co-pays, large deductable because guess why our insurance premiums went up or we pay for our dependents. Why didn't the author take time to find out how many people work less than 30 hours already and or work more than one job with no benefits to make ends meet and have been doing it long before any discussion about all Americans deserve to have health care. Americans I said- those that aren't U.S. citizens already get health care which we often pay for. Sor for heaven sake get it over with and just go to socialized medicine we are already there we just don't want to admit.